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Friday, April 19, 2024

SCAM ALERT: A small favor request turns into a local scam

A simple friendly text message from a person who appeared to be a friend suddenly turned into a full-fledged scam attempt involving a Windom woman.

The name and number attached to the text matched that of a good friend from elsewhere in the state. It started like this: “Just checking to see if you are alright.”

Then, as the local woman’s guard dropped for a bit, the scammer added this comment: “I’ll be so glad if you could do me a little favor.”

Naturally, the local woman asked, “What can we do for you?”

That’s when things got interesting. The scammer replied explained that he has an old friend who has cancer of the liver and is trying to do something special to cheer her up the request was for gift cards.

, “Thanks so much. I don’t know how much you could afford at the moment, but I’m only looking to spend $300 in $100 denominations.”

There were further instructions from this friend, but the local person suddenly realized this appeared to be more than a friendly request. Gift cards are a main currency of scammers. The Windom resident broke off all conversations at that point.

Later, the local resident learned of at least three different parties who received the same message. It was apparent that someone was able to take or access their friend’s cell phone contacts.

“Your first instinct is to try to help someone you know,” the local resident said. “That’s how they try to get you.”

If you have been the target of a scam, your first contact should be the local authorities. Also, feel free to contact us with details (we can keep your name confidential, if you wish).

Send your story to: rahnl@windomnews.com, or call 507-831-3455. By sharing your story, you could prevent someone from being scammed.
Watch www.windomnews.com for regular weekday updates at 8 a.m./noon/5 p.m., plus BREAKING stories at other times. Follow CoCoCitizen @CitPub on Twitter.

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